There has been an increase in legislation going through State Government in the United States that are effectively an attack on women. The Arizona and Texas State Government are passing Bills planned to drastically slash public health funding – most notably in relation to Planned Parenthood organisations.
Some are arguing that there isn’t the money to spend, and others argue about how we shouldn’t pay tax to help others who ought to be able to help themselves. We keep hearing the contradictory arguments of “we need to get more people spending money – we need to get the economy flowing again” and “we (the Government) won’t spend anything”. The money is there – it is just the will that is absent.
And whether it is a matter of there being no money available, or whether it is the old standard of “Waaahhh I don’t wanna pay tax”, the Bills being passed would be to cut all public health funding. By targeting women’s health only, it sends a very definite message. The growing ultra-conservative right is gaining an unpleasant foothold in the power structures of the world. And anyone who isn’t an
effluent affluent straight white male is in real deep shit.
Fortunately, there are a few voices of dissent – such as the Austin Chronicle.
These changes aren’t just about abortion, but about the provision of information. About all elements of sexual health. They are, in fact, denying ordinary people the right to informed consent. They are denying people the right to choose how and when they re-produce. And once again, because it is women who carry the burden of pregnancy, it is primarily women affected by these changes.
Ultra-conservatism definitely seems on the rise. We’ve been there before, and we’ve survived it. Because ultimately our fight is a fight for life. Their’s is a fight for control. And ultimately, life cannot be controlled (to borrow a phrase from Jurassic Park).
As for the changes in the US – what can we do about it? Well, at the very least we can let those who are leading the fight in that country know that they have our support. Some will say that it doesn’t concern us because it is a fight in a foreign country. I think we have heard that argument many times. And the response is that the sort of thing being fought doesn’t limit itself to one country. It spreads like a virus. If we do not fight it, we will eventually succumb to it. And even if the fight “over there” fails, then by giving our support to those doing the fighting we can gain an ally for when the fight comes to our shores.
Sounds very militant, doesn’t it? There is a reason for that. The arguments for fighting so many incredibly expensive wars in far away lands apply equally here.
What worries me is that this seems to be just the start. Hopefully, I will publish a few more posts on the rise of the new right, including matters like the disturbing trends in comments on discussion boards, the Ugandan “Kill the Gays” Bill, and other matters. And on how, as it seems to me, it is becoming all the more important that we fight these things with every ounce of energy we have.